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Study Notes

Martin Niemoller

AQA, Edexcel, OCR

Last updated 11 Apr 2018

Martin Niemoller was a Protestant Pastor, who had a history as a submarine commander during the First World War. Like many ordinary Germans, he did not like the Weimar Republic and supported the Nazis. Niemoller voted for the Nazis and supported Hitler as Chancellor. All of this came from a deep belief that Germany should have a strong leader.

However, despite this earlier support, Niemoller started to oppose the Nazis. He was one of the founders of the Pastors’ Emergency League and the subsequent Confessing Church. He set this up because he disagreed with the Nazi interference in the Church. Niemoller also rejected the idea that Jews could not become Christians, a view which the Nazis held.

From 1934 to 1937, Niemoller became more opposed to the Nazis and spoke out widely against them their policies. This resulted in his arrest numerous time, before eventually being imprisoned in a concentration camp in 1938. He was freed from a concentration camp in 1945 when the Nazi Regime fell.

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